News Release| Federal Stimulus Fund for Cal State L.A.

August 26, 2010

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support 14 science, technology, engineering and mathematic projects at Cal State L.A.

CSULA benefits from $3.5 million in ARRA grant funding

Los Angeles, CA  -- With a primary focus on outreach, teaching and research, California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) has received more than $3.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to support 14 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects.


System-wide, CSU researchers have received over $62 million in ARRA funding to conduct nearly 200 individual STEM research projects throughout the 23-campus system. Among these campuses, Cal State L.A. ranked fifth in ARRA funding.

More than 70 percent of the CSU’s ARRA STEM funding was provided by three federal agencies: the
National Science Foundation (NSF) ($25.58 million), the Department of Health and Human ServicesNational Institutes of Health (NIH) ($13.53 million) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ($4.95 million).


“ARRA funding helps our talented faculty generate new knowledge, supports student success through their participation in research and prepares future scientists and teachers,” said Philip LaPolt, director of research and development in the Office of Research and Development at CSULA. “The federal government realizes that these projects represent a much-needed reinvestment in America’s research and education enterprise.”


Recognizing the impact the CSU has in these fields, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is supporting 83 CSU grants with ARRA funding, much of it through NIH. The funding augments more than $300 million of ongoing federal funding that enables CSU to advance education and research.


For decades, STEM funding to the CSU from federal agencies has supported an array of innovative research efforts throughout the CSU system. The support underscores the understanding that research experiences significantly enhance teaching and learning in science and engineering.


To enhance learning, ARRA funds also support a variety of strategies that partner CSU campuses with nearby school districts and foster key partnerships between the CSU and collaborative institutions.


“These partnerships, such as the collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, give our students real-world research and learning experiences and greatly expand their opportunities for success,” said LaPolt.


In addition to the ARRA funding for STEM projects, CSULA is awaiting word on a pending grant proposal that seeks an additional $2 million in ARRA funding from NSF for construction of a Core Energy and Sustainability Research Center.


Along with one grant from the Department of Education of $213,372 for student-based work-study programs and an $11,268 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to support Nursing scholarships, the other 14 grants were awarded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services for the following programs:


  •          Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE): 

o    The specific aim of this administrative supplement project is to improve the management and programmatic aspects of the CSULA RISE Program.


  •          Consortium for Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE): 

o    This project is a collaboration between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and several Los Angeles-based urban colleges. It enables the CURE site to recruit approximately 18 (mostly minority and women) students per year for research experiences in cutting-edge projects in astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science.


  •          Investigations of Phosphorus Redox Chemistry in the Termite Hindgut: 

o    The research project will investigate the oxidation and reduction of phosphorous in nature.


  •          Mathematics on Education Based Integrated Understanding Scholars: 

o    In conjunction with Noyce Scholarships, this project will enable CSULA to nurture and build dedicated and able teachers in mathematics to achieve the three-fold goal of rigor, relevance and retention for 40 highly qualified teachers.


  •          Robotic Training, the Modulation of BDNF Activity in Spinally Transected Rats:

o    This research project will study the effectiveness of a new technique for robotic treadmill training in spinal cord contused rats.


  •          Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research: 

o    The funds for this project will be used to deepen the pool of freshman and sophomore students who attain honor levels of academic achievement, which will support enhanced student achievement and success in seven lower-division chemistry courses.


  •          Active Approach to Algebra A^3: 

o    This project enables CSULA to help improve the teaching and learning of algebra at Montebello Unified School District high schools.


  •          Investigation of PAH Photodegradation in Solutions: 

o    The parent project of the requested funds was designed to investigate the sunlight-induced degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in liquid solutions, which are found on the surface of airborne fine-particulate matter.


  •          Chromium Isotopes as Redox-Indicators-Oxidation and Isotopic Equilibration Experiments:

o    This collaborative project with colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign seeks to further develop a new isotope technique that allows geochemists to quantify chemical transformation of toxic hexavalent chromium to the less toxic form.


  •          International Research Experience for Students in Ireland: Applications in the Chemical Separations Sciences: 

o    The broad goal of this project is to establish international research experiences for a program focusing on applications in the chemical separation sciences between the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at CSULA and the National Centre for Sensor Research and School of Chemical Science at Dublin City University in Ireland.


  •          Antibacterial Target Identification Using Expression of Essential Genes: 

o    This project aims to accelerate the pace of its parent project by utilizing a more efficient plasmid vector and studying the mechanism of inhibition by antisense expression and the mechanism of action of antibacterial inhibitors.


  •          Identification and Molecular Basis for Efficient Antifreeze Protein Enhancers:

o    Antifreeze proteins found in many organisms, including fish and insects, enables them to survive at subfreezing temperatures. This project will accelerate the pace of the scientific research by creating a new research lab technician position and purchasing new and/or necessary upgrades for laboratory equipment.


  •          MORE (Minority Opportunities in Research) R.E.S.U.L.T.S.: 

o    This supplement enables the project’s research team to deepen analysis to include retention in Ph.D. programs and success in Ph.D. institutions by following up on the career progress of hundreds of MORE-funded students and alumni. It will also provide a value-added analysis for the MORE program and help complete a minimum of two journal manuscripts based on new data and a refined model.


  •          Label-Free and Simultaneous Detection of Multiple Bacterial Pathogens and Virulen: 

o    This project will advance work based on the hypothesis that SPRi technology can be used to simultaneously identify bacterial species or strains as well as virulence factors present in the bacteria.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 215,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.